Can Amazon Compete With The Google eBookstore

Amazon did not let Google’s eBookstore launch go quietly. The online giant put out a press release yesterday afternoon saying that two of Oprah’s Book Club picks, are free eBooks from Charles Dickens in the Kindle Store. It should be noted that A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations are both in the public domain and there are free versions available all over the place including from Project Gutenberg and Barnes & Noble.

But the underlying conceit of the press release seemed to be that Amazon wanted to gain some headlines on a day when Google launched some steep competition. While the Kindle is arguably the most popular eReader on the market, the Google eBookstore is open and works on all kinds of devices including Android devices, iPads/iPhones, Web browers, as well as Sony eReaders and the Barnes & Noble Nook.

USA Today
has more: “’This is a big threat to Amazon,’ says Allen Weiner, an analyst at researcher Gartner. While Kindle is the top-selling e-book reader, its penetration is dwarfed by the number of Android phones in use alone — about 40 million this year, according to investment firm Piper Jaffray. Combine that with next year’s shipments of Android phones and tablets, as well as the iPhone/iPad universe of more than 100 million devices, and ‘This is a critical juncture for Amazon,’ says Weiner.”

Do you think Amazon will lose its edge in the eBook market?